The creature's name means "giant-spined lizard". The "giant" in the name refers to the animal's comparatively large shoulder spines - Gigantspinosaurus had very large shoulder spines, but the bony plates on its back were relatively small.
Gigantspinosaurus about 13 feet (4 meters) long, and probably weighed around 500 pounds (225 kilograms). It was thus considerably smaller than many of its later relatives such as Stegosaurus and Kentrosaurus.
The first fossils of Gigantspinosaurus were found in the Sichuan province of China in 1992. These included a partial skeleton that was missing only the hind feet, tail and skull (except for the lower jaw). However, for a number of years, some scientists in the West considered "Gigantspinosaurus" to be a "nomen nudum" (a scientific name that failed because an adequate description had not yet been published). Since articles published by Tracy L. Ford, and by Susannah C. R. Maidment and Guangbaio Wei, both in 2006, much more information about the animal has been available in the West. One interesting aspect of these new articles is that in her article, Tracy L. Ford argued that previous reconstructions of Gigantspinosaurus had attached the shoulder spines upside-down, and the spines should actually point upwards ending higher than the top of the animal's back.
Gigantspinosaurus was a herbivore (plant-eater) that lived about 160 million years ago
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